Experienced midfielders Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Kylie-Ann Louw will find their Banyana Banyana team-mates in high spirits when they meet up in Cyprus on Friday, after the national senior women’s team thrashed Selecao do Marinha 5-1 in their final match in Brazil on Wednesday night.
Following the victory over the 2010 World Military Games Champions, the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana jetted out of Rio de Janeiro via Dubai to Cyprus for the Cyprus Women’s Cup which starts on 28 February.
Two right-flank raids by prolific striker Noko Matlou saw her produce crosses of excellence to allow tall forward Andiswe Mgcoyi to score twice within the first 13 minutes.
The Banyana Banyana players found themselves on the wrong side of some of the match official’s decisions with a push on goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni from a Selecao do Marinha corner kick, allowing the hosts to score. Matlou headed home five minutes later only for the goal to be controversially declared offside.
But the second 45 minutes belonged to the Amanda Dlamini’s team, with the skipper herself getting on the score-sheet in delivering a powerful header, before midfielder Morifi Chuene saw her pile-driver effort rebound off the Selecao do Marinha cross bar for Matlou to score.
Morifi, who plays for inaugural Sasol League National Champions Detroit Ladies, scored the final goal after a fine mix of strength and speed on the left wing, and was on hand to put the ball into the net from a tight angle after the Selecao do Marinha goalkeeper deflected the initial shot away.
ÔÇ£We fielded a powerful Banyana Banyana line up as this was our last match before facing South Korea in our opening fixture at the Cyprus Women’s Cup, and the girls applied themselves extremely well,” said coach Joseph Mkhonza.
ÔÇ£The South American tour gave the players 11 days to train together and play three matches against quality opposition prior to the tournament in Cyprus and Sasol and SAFA need to be commended for the support shown to our country’s women footballers in the build up to Banyana Banyana’s participation at the London Olympics in July this year.ÔÇØ
With 22 players to be registered for action at the Cyprus Women’s Cup, the arrival of Nyandeni and Louw has meant that striker Zanele Sukazi (University of Johannesburg Sasol League Gauteng) and midfielder Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses, Sasol League Western Cape) will leave the team and head home.
The Banyana Banyana coaching staff has also called for Nkosimphile Zungu (Barcelona Ladies, Sasol League KwaZulu Natal) to join the team in Cyprus in place of North West-based goalkeeper Mputle Ntshatsana who sustained a knee injury during the national camp in Brazil.